FEATURESThe Romans were very superstitious.They presumed the existence of hidden powers or spirits (numina) They sought the protection of gods in exchange for worship and religious rites. Do ut deas.Religion was connected with the moral values. A good citizen should have: dignity respect for gods, family and ancestors.While conquering other territories, Rome came into contact with other gods, religions andrites. They were embraced in a very open-minded way.In addition, Christianity exploded in the Imperial Age. At first, they were persecuted. By the 4th century it had become the official religion of the Roman Empire.
ROMAN DEITIESRomans had their own deities: Faunus: god of cattle. Flora: goddess of plants. Ianus: god of light. Saturnus: god of the harvest. Vertumnus: god of the seasons and trade.Later they adopted the Greek gods, just changing their names.The three most important gods were: Emperor Augustus Jupiter (Zeus) Juno (Hera) Minerva (Athena)They formed the Capitoline Triad.From the 1st century on, Romanemperors were whorsipped as real gods.
DOMESTIC CULTEach Roman family honoured its ancestors and tutelary demons.The worship of these spirits defines the Roman religion.Domestic cult really separates Roman from Greek religion. Lares protected the whole family. Penates were the gods of the household. Manes, the spirits of the dead with supernatural powers Roman lararium, Pompei
PUBLIC CULTPrayer and sacrifices should be made perfectly in order to be efficient.The animal was killed, skinned, gutted and washed.The Aruspices inspected it and made their predictions.The animal would then be butchered part reserved for the gods part cooked and consumed by those attending the ceremony. Liver bronze of Piacenza
OTHER CULTSThe Romans were very tolerant in terms of religion and accepted western cults.Mysteries were some of them indeed.Normally they were dedicated to the gods who promised eternal life and happinessin the afterlife Cybele Mithras Isis and Osiris
CHRISTIANITYChrisitianity had its origin in 1st century Palestine.It was a new religion preached by Jesus of Nazareth.They did not whorsip the emperor They were persecuted. They practised their rituals secretly.In 313 Constantine announced the Edict of Milan They were free to practise their religion.In 380 Theodosius declared Christianity the official religion of the Empire. Christian Chi Ro